How The Socorro UFO Hoaxers Did It!

The 1964 UFO "landing" in Socorro, NM has been one of the most famous UFO cases for almost a half century now and should remain so for as long as curious people continue to earnestly investigate the possibility that Earth has been visited by extraterrestrials. I believe that this case was a prank pulled off by New Mexico Institute of Mining And Technology students based on three reasons:

1. Anthony Bragalia's research. Part One Part Two Part Three
2. The geography of the landing site. Perfect for pulling off such an illusion.
3. Lonnie Zamora's detailed Blue Book account.

I think Mr. Zamora was a great and honest witness. He recounted exactly what he saw on April 24, 1964 when he was an officer on duty for the Socorro Police Department. I think most UFO witnesses do. If anything, I think this is a great case to hold up as an example of credible UFO witnessing. Unfortunately, it's also a great example of how an event can be perverted by others.

What happened is other people's exaggerated versions of Mr. Zamora's account bled into this case as it's now remembered and, yes, that is a problem for UFO research but doesn't reflect on UFO witnesses in general or Mr. Zamora specifically.

Remember Kenneth Arnold openly complained about the same thing although he stayed in the field while Mr. Zamora just sought to go on about his business.

It all started innocently enough. I had watched most of the UFO documentaries on the various cable networks over the years but began to take an active interest in the phenomenon after the publicity surrounding Edgar Mitchell's appearance at the National Press Club this past spring. I developed a particular interest in UFOs during the Truman presidency.

Reading up on the internet, I began to notice that a lot of the really interesting new stories being developed came from the same guy, Anthony Bragalia.

I decided to drop him an email saying I appreciated his work. He's not the first UFO researcher I've done this with and hopefully not the last. He responded and suggested that if I ever came across anything relating to the Battelle Memorial Institute or Clyde Williams, its' director in the years following the Roswell crash, to let him know. So I did a quick search, found a few links and took a closer look. One thing that caught my attention was Williams' correspondence with Linus Pauling. Pauling's was a name I hadn't thought about in years but I was well aware of who he was and decided to do another simple search on his name and UFOs just for the hell of it.

Right near the top of the search results, I found this link to a Pauling related blog site and gave it a look, including the Stirling Colgate, NMINT's president at the time, correspondence with Pauling regarding the Socorro case which expressed his view that it was a hoax pulled off by his engineering students. Great stuff of course and I passed my findings on to Bragalia and wrote up my own opinions on Pauling's outline for a UFO study. Let me make clear I never regarded the Socorro case as a visit from extraterrestrials. From what I knew of it, the noise, flames and persons wearing coveralls Mr. Zamora recounted ruled that out in my mind. Mr. Zamora clearly ruled that out as well when he said, "Well, I didn't think it was an object from outer space because I don't believe in those things."

I believed Mr. Zamora, but I just figured it was some sort of experimental lander, certainly not an elaborate prank. I laughed at the idea until Bragalia started making direct contacts and made those results known, took a closer look at the actual "landing" site and, most importantly, read Mr. Zamora's own documented account very carefully. They "must have been some engineering students" I jokingly wrote to Bragalia early on. Well, they were! I know Bragalia was skeptical too, but where I blew the whole thing off, he picked up the phone, did the work and found the true story. He deserves the credit and certainly not the abuse that's been thrown his way by some frauds who lurk within the UFO field.

This isn't the first time a hoax claim has been associated with the Socorro sighting. Air Force investigators on the scene suggested to J. Allen Hynek that it was a hoax. Harvard astronomer Donald Menzel claimed it was a hoax pulled off by local high school kids. Not a chance in hell high school kids could have pulled this prank off. Notorious and irresponsible debunker Phil Klass said it was a hoax and went so far as to name Mr. Zamora and Socorro's mayor, Holm Bursum, as conspirators in it. Their motivation was, according to Klass, turning the site into a tourist attraction and cashing in, an incredibly loathsome and unsubstantiated claim and certainly not true.

So what did happen? I invite you all to click this link and read Lonnie Zamora's actual account of what happened that day and see for yourself how it fits like a hand in a glove with the hoax/prank explanation. Above you see a map of the area. Of course all the housing wasn't there in 1964 and the roads were different but I'm comfortable this is a fairly good representation of the scene which you can compare to this map and this one. I'll make my points below, but do keep Mr. Zamora's account open in another window.

1-Mr. Zamora is initially led toward the scene by a speeding black Chevrolet driven by a "boy about seventeen." Consistent with a college aged student.

2-Mr. Zamora's attention is drawn to a roar and flame in the sky. Is it the bait to draw him towards the magic show that awaits or the second in a series of incredible coincidences?

3-Mr. Zamora first sees the vehicle, represented by the white dot, and the two people in coveralls. One of them "seemed startled--seemed to jump quickly somewhat." Startled or attempting to make sure they were seen? Also notice he puts legs, when referring to the legs of the vehicle, in quotes. At this point, I approximate Mr. Zamora's position at the blue dot in the above map but feel free to compare it with the others I've linked to. He also notes that the quick look was the only time he saw people near the vehicle.

4-Mr. Zamora then drives closer to the vehicle but the road that leads him closer is also separated from the vehicle by a hill that obstructs his view of it. He parked and then "got out of car and started to go down to where I knew the object (car) was." This phrase only makes sense if he can't see the vehicle from where he was as he was driving closer and parked his car, which in fact he couldn't. The view of the scene below evidences this. He parks to the right of the hill as you can see the vehicle sitting in the arroyo.

You can see how the hill blocks his view and the time he took to drive from the blue point, where he first saw the vehicle and two people, to the yellow point, where he parked his patrol car, gave the pranksters enough time to gather up what they needed to and escape easily in the opposite direction.

5-Mr. Zamora got his closest view of the vehicle as it flew away and described it as follows: "It looks like a balloon." He was right about that.

To be certain of anything other than the prank/hoax explanation you have to accept some extraordinary coincidences. An advanced craft, either Earthly or not, had to have landed on the outskirts of Socorro just as Mr. Zamora was chasing a speeding teenager in that direction. The vehicle's occupants, already walking around the immediate landing area are startled by Mr. Zamora seeing them and scramble back into their vehicle, which Mr. Zamora did not see, and took off for the nearby White Sands Missile Range, which in fact isn't nearby at all, it's 80 miles away, or back to their home planet. The final coincidence is the site itself, geographically perfect to pull off such an illusion. Of all the places on Earth an experimental or alien craft could have landed, they chose that one at 5:45 PM on a Friday afternoon on April 24, no more than a month before college finals.

The hoax/prank explanation hardly paints Mr. Zamora to be a fool. In fact, it's just the opposite. The pranksters counted on Mr. Zamora to do his job the right way. It's his detailed account that reveals that fundamental elements of magic were at work that day.

Vanishing-Mr. Zamora saw two people and then they were gone. "They must have gotten on the ship!" No, they simply ran in the opposite direction Mr. Zamora approached from. Mr. Zamora never said he saw them get on the ship.

Transformation-A ship with "legs" sits on the ground and then flies away with "legs" no longer visible. "The "legs" must have retracted into the ship!" No, they were simply lightweight props, possibly cardboard, that were simply carried away by the pranksters.

Levitation-The craft flew away. "It must be an advanced aircraft, possibly from another planet!" No, it was a balloon.

It was a magic trick so good that it's fooling people who didn't even see it almost a half century after it was executed. We don't know just yet who the pranksters were, but that doesn't matter to me. If there's a riot on Main Street and I walk down Main Street the next day and see a busted out storefront window, I don't need to know specifically who did it to be pretty certain that rioters were responsible. I do think that if the actual pranksters are identified at least one of them will have a deep interest or background in stage magicianship.

Preposterous claims such as the vehicle leaving the area in excess of 2000 MPH have been made regarding this case and are believed by some as truth. Mr. Zamora never says any such thing. These claims merely muddy the waters and make the truth that much more difficult to find. The primary source of those claims, Ray Stanford, is simply not credible and has a track record of making equally ridiculous claims in every field he sticks his beak into which you can verify for yourself by doing an internet search on his name.

I think Mr. Zamora gave an honest and highly accurate account of what he saw in 1964. I think the Socorro case is an excellent incident to point to in regards to the honesty of UFO witnesses but it also remains a cautionary tale for people who are serious about the UFO phenomenon. We all must always look deeper and not take at face value the preposterous claims of bullshit artists who attempt to profit from that interest.

UPDATE:
I really want to thank Steve Sawyer (Anonymous) for posting the link to this article. It's a very good compilation of some reports that have not been readily available on the internet.

I'd like to point at Sgt. David Moody's report where he writes, "Sgt Chavez then went to the area where the craft or thing was supposedly sighted and found four fresh indentations in the ground and several charred or burned bushes. Smoke appeared to come from the bush and he assumed that it was burning, however no coals were visible and the charred portions of the bush were cold to the touch."

Investigator J. Allen Hynek added, ". . . the burning seemed to be sporadic. Clumps of grass in close proximity to the burned ones were untouched, while others just a short distance away from the unburned ones were again burned."

Very interesting revelations and consistent with site preparation by pranksters well before the actual event.

Now onto the matter of footprints or lack thereof. This part of the equation has troubled me and I have not addressed it, but it occurred to me today that if I wanted to create fake "legs" for a spaceship and leave the area without leaving footprints, I think I'd employ something similar to the technique you see above and kill two birds with one stone.

Also note that in Mr. Zamora's two drawings, he only draws two legs.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: There's been some debate about the meaning of the insignia on the vehicle Zamora reported and after mulling it over awhile, I'm quite convinced it's nothing more than a "This End Up" indicator that would help people get an uninflated balloon situated properly on the ground before it was inflated.

Whoever the manufacturer of the balloon was would have been selling them world wide, so no English would be used, but the insignia would communicate which end was up pretty easily in any language . . . . and also provide another bit of evidence that the vehicle was manufactured here on Earth.

So the red marking on the vehicle isn't a symbol. It isn't an insignia. It isn't a corporate logo. It's an instruction.

72 comments:

  1. A sensible evaluation, Mr. Stalter.

    Let's hope it resonates with reasonable UFO mavens.

    RR

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  2. What I'm seeing is that it often takes years and decades and some good fortune for interesting revelations to come to light. It's an endlessly fascinating subject to be sure.

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  3. Yes it is a far better answer than the visiting spaceship one. Pity it is incomplete, i.e. no identities or confessions. But would any dedicated ETHer be persuaded by confession(s) at this late stage? I doubt it.

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  4. I agree with that, cda. In this UFO thing, there are facts, conjecture and mythology. I happen to like all three, so I think I'm in the right spot.

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  5. While I certainly don't have any problems with the case being a hoax (maybe it was?) I have to wonder if you and Mr. Bragalia have any idea what the word "evidence" means.

    Laying out what you THINK happened is not particularly helpful without accompanying compelling evidence. Mr Bragalia has promised to deliver something substantial on this matter but thus far has shown nothing.

    Of course in the UFO world many believers were fine when Mr. Bragalia was advancing a paranormal story in his equally unsubstantiated series on Roswell. But they bristle when he (however ineffectively) attacks one of the grand old cases.

    I'm sure that many of those believers are the same ones who, without a trace of irony, complain about how dogmatic skeptics are in their disbelief.
    I suppose, as a hard core skeptic, I should thank Bragalia for holding up a mirror to the UFO community that clearly shows the hypocritical visage therein.

    Lance

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  6. "I suppose, as a hard core skeptic, I should thank Bragalia for holding up a mirror to the UFO community that clearly shows the hypocritical visage therein."

    What's stopping you?

    "Laying out what you THINK happened is not particularly helpful without accompanying compelling evidence."

    The evidence is compelling. A letter from a university president to a two-time Nobel prize winner, which he never expected to become public, is evidence. Getting Colgate and other esteemed academics to go on record expressing their opinion is evidence. The original eye witness testimony of Mr. Zamora is evidence. The actual lay of the land at the sighting location is evidence. If you don't find it compelling, that's fine, but what are you offering? Simply nay-saying is not debating.

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  7. What kind of a person believes Ray Stanford is credible?

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  8. Ok, I will say that the evidence cited:

    1. Letter
    2. Zamora Testimony
    3. Location

    is all interesting and relevant. The discovery of the letter was an important one.

    Does it build a slam dunk case for what you hazily lay out above? Only for the most deluded and befuddled kind of thinker. It is a shame that this evidence can't be run through a court of law so that you might experience the laughter that would accompany such a meager argument.

    Am I surprised to encounter this kind of thinking? Not at all. I see it all the time in among UFO believers.

    By the way, this is priceless:

    "A letter from a university president to a two-time Nobel prize winner, which he never expected to become public, is evidence. "

    A letter TO a Nobel Prize winner, you say? A two time winner!!!! That certainly means something! Perhaps you should mail your story above to SEVERAL Nobel Prize winners in order to make it even more important.

    Jesus, the fuzzy thinking involved here is astounding!

    This is a perfect example of how you (and Bragilia) mention details that (however interesting) mean nothing in regards to the price of tea in China and somehow think that these extraneous details buttress your case.

    They don't. At least not to reasonable people with functioning brains.

    Let me also note that Ray Stanford demonstrably uses the same kind poor reasoning in his lame arguments.

    Lance

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  9. "A letter TO a Nobel Prize winner, you say? A two time winner!!!! That certainly means something!"

    Well, yeah, it is significant. Two-time Nobel winners don't grow on trees . . . and Colgate answered Pauling's query! Pauling was interested in UFOs. Did you read the articles on that? Is there anything fuzzy about that? It seems pretty unambiguous to me.

    "Jesus, the fuzzy thinking involved here is astounding!"

    Something did happen. Zamora did see a vehicle, two people and they all left the area somehow. No one is seriously questioning that. There are only so many explanations for the Socorro incident. One of them has to be right. Nay-saying is not reasoning.

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  10. We should avoid supposing that a Nobel Prize winner, even a two-time one, is necessarily qualified to pronounce on UFOs. He is certainly qualified on his subject(s) for which he got the prize, but UFOs...? As Lance says, a letter to Pauling means little, but a letter from Pauling (to another scientist or Ufoligist) on the case would also mean little, unless of course Pauling had conducted a thorough investigation of the Socorro case.

    I still retain an open mind on Socorro. Quintanilla classed it as 'unknown' but he also added that it still bothered him more than a little. This is because although he and Blue Book never found anything conclusive that indicated a hoax, there were suspicious elements to it.

    I desperately hope something positive will turn up, but have to say I rate the chances as near zero at this stage. Still, let's wait in hope.....

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  11. "We should avoid supposing that a Nobel Prize winner, even a two-time one, is necessarily qualified to pronounce on UFOs."

    Pauling pronounced nothing. He asked Colgate questions regarding the case. What's wrong with that?

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  12. I noted references to burned or singed cardboard being present at the site of the Socorro incident. Yet, according to the original reports from Hynek and Holder, there is no specific characterization of the nature of the cardboard found at the site. Despite this, Bragalia goes into the supposed use of cardboard tubes filled with gunpowder being used as pyrotechnic "whistlers" in his part 3 article.

    Since samples were taken by a number of parties, including the USAF, doesn't anyone here think that if the presence of pyrotechnic cardboard tubes or gunpowder residue were found, that this would have been clearly noted? In other words, Bragalia has taken the unclear and undescribed references to burned cardboard, which may have been deposited after the fact, and spun this factoid into such cardboard being in the form of burned tubes, or pyrotechnic cylinders, to bolster his allegations, but isn't it a fact that there is no physical or reportial evidence to support this presumed contention? If so, like much of Bragalia's work, it is based on not evidence or fact, but presumption, supposition, spin, false and unsupported conclusions, and various other delusional psychologically suspect constructs of differing kinds, which is self-evident to any serious, objective researcher who is honest, and is rife in both his Roswell debris and Socorro articles. The fact that neither he, Stalter, or the RRR Group can either understand or accept this reality is quite telling about your deeply inadequate "investigatory process" and subconscious biases. Regarding Socorro, just for one little detail, how many silent balloons have you ever seen that have accelerated into the wind at hundreds of miles an hour?

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  13. "Regarding Socorro, just for one little detail, how many silent balloons have you ever seen that have accelerated into the wind at hundreds of miles an hour?"

    What source are you basing that speed of the vehicle and the direction of the wind on? If you can source that information from someone other than Stanford, or someone merely quoting him, I'd like to see it.

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  14. I will qualify my comments: i don't ascribe to the ETH, though I have to keep it on my "maybe" list. I don't pretend to "know" what happened in the Zamora case and don't have (as one of my friends says) "a dog in the race".

    I note, however, that our USAF, who would have been only to happy to use any evidence present at the scene (i.e. unexplained footprints, evidence of pyrotechnics, etc) to explain this away, as they did often enough, listed this as an unknown after a contemporaneous field investigation. Other investigators with boots on the ground, including other experienced police officers, seemed to have come to similar conclusions.

    I think its healthy to allow members of the community to present and consider alternative explanations for any of the well known cases. Sometimes going back to an old case and reexamining the information can be useful in ways unimagined.

    All that said the current hypothesis, that this was a hoax, still doesn't seem to hold water IMHO. I applaud any effort to shine more light on the case but still have difficulties. For example the issue of the letter. Interesting but not very substantial. No SPECIFICS are included in the letter as far as we know. The university president expresses an opinion (without much to qualify it) that he knows it was a hoax but offers no direct evidence. If this same conversation had occurred over the executive water cooler we would properly label it as rumor. It asks more questions than it answers. The speeding car driver, now considered part of the plot, risks arrest for multiple traffic violations and a trip to jail in an effort to pull this off. Not impossible but I'm not convinced.

    So while I can appreciate anyones good faith effort to offer other explanations, I'm gonna wait for something more substantial to come in on the wires.

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  15. Are all the contemporaneous sightings (the famous quote "gee your aircraft fly low around here") too suspect to be included as useful? If Zamora really got to 103 feet and had a clear line of sight, not seeing it was just a balloon does seem hard to fathom. Thirty-five yards, large, perfectly round weather balloon? - I think my 8 yr old nephew would say "balloon".

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  16. "I note, however, that our USAF, who would have been only to happy to use any evidence present at the scene (i.e. unexplained footprints, evidence of pyrotechnics, etc) to explain this away, as they did often enough, listed this as an unknown after a contemporaneous field investigation."

    That's an excellent point. There apparently was some dissent between Hynek and the USAF field investigators over this case. Perhaps an explanation lies there.

    "For example the issue of the letter. Interesting but not very substantial. "

    The letter was an initial find, purely by chance, that led to a closer look by Anthony. Colgate responded directly to Anthony that he did know it was a prank and who did it.

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  17. "Are all the contemporaneous sightings (the famous quote "gee your aircraft fly low around here") too suspect to be included as useful?"

    I don't think anyone at this point is questioning whether Mr. Zamora heard and saw something and since he did, I'm sure some others did as well. I just suggest that you look carefully at his Blue Book account. There was a lot of extraneous exaggeration about this case from very early on:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PXeDY3KOwgA/SsJA1yQ1lNI/AAAAAAAAEu4/hpJeuy2rCSM/s1600-h/Socorro+Officer+Saw+Two+Men+Step+Out+of+Big+UFO+-+Albuquerque+Tribune+2-25-1964.jpg

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  18. the problem with this case is it can't be 'neatly' placed in any category (hoax,real), which is unusual. Zamora does have a drawing labeled "view from 103'" and I paced off 35 steps today - no way I could mistake an ordinary weather balloon for an extra-terrestrial craft from that short distance. Did Zamora say he saw a balloon? If those were his words, then we should just believe him and the case is solved. The problem with hoax is it can't be allowed to get too grandiose as an explanation - after all we are talking students, limited budget, stolen balloon (not a powered craft). And if 3-6 students, not one has let slip in the past 40 years?

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  19. "Did Zamora say he saw a balloon?"

    He said it looked like a balloon. One of the explanations is right. I happen to think it's hoax/prank.

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  20. Anonymous wrote:
    "Regarding Socorro, just for one little detail, how many silent balloons have you ever seen that have accelerated into the wind at hundreds of miles an hour?"

    Frank Stalter:
    What source are you basing that speed of the vehicle and the direction of the wind on? If you can source that information from someone other than Stanford, or someone merely quoting him, I'd like to see it.
    -----------

    Wind direction: Alan Hynek letter, "Socorro revisted", Aug. 14-16, 1964, in Brad Steiger, "Project Blue Book", p. 127, commenting on local Socorro skeptic claiming he never heard a sound, therefore it was a hoax: "...there was a VERY STRONG SOUTHWEST wind blowing..."

    Zamora reported the object departing to the WSW, or almost directly into Hynek's "very strong southwest" wind.

    "Balloons" cannot fly into the wind.

    In addition, Zamora reported the object traveling horizontally and rapidly for two miles to the perlite mill at the base of the western mountains, then disappearing very rapidly in a steep climb, fading out above the mountains in the vicinity of 6 mile canyon.

    Zamora's statement:

    "The object seemed to lift up slowly, and to 'get small' in the distance VERY FAST. It seemed to just clear the Box Canyon or Six Mile Canyon Mountain. It disappeared as it went over the mountain. It had no flame whatsoever as it was traveling over the ground, and no smoke or noise."

    Elsewhere: “It appeared to go in straight line and at same height--possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground, and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet. … OBJECT WAS TRAVELING VERY FAST. It seemed to rise up, and take off immediately across country”

    Zamora described a FAST, SILENT departure.

    Again, in Socorro El Defensor Chieftain, April 28, 1964:
    http://www.theufochronicles.com/search/label/Socorro%20Incident

    "The object appeared to maintain this altitude [20 feet] beyond the explosive's building [to the WSW] and due west in a STRAIGHT LINE for about TWO MILES to the perlite mile [actually again to the WSW]. On the other side of the mill, the UFO gained altitude VERY RAPIDLY, passed over Six-Mile Canyon, became a speck in the sky, and disappeared. ...As the object got into the air, the noise quieted. ...Reports of other supposed UFO's have mentioned they fly with little or no noise."

    Again, “very rapid”, silent departure, disappearing about 6 miles in the distance, again directly into the wind. “Balloons” also cannot fly horizontally for two miles in a straight line, then climb suddenly and rapidly into the sky.

    (continued next post)

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  21. (part 2)

    MATH (shudder)

    Distance: From Zamora’s description, he clearly saw the object travel 2 miles to the mill at the base of the mountains. To climb and disappear over the mountains would require at least another miles of travel. So minimum of 3 miles to fadeout, possibly as much as Zamora’s estimated 6 miles over the canyons.

    Time: The object was “travelling very fast”, got small in the distance “very fast” and also climbed in altitude “very rapidly” when it reached the mountains. Zamora estimated “20 seconds” (statement) for “from time to get out of car, glanced at object, ran from object, jumped over edge of hill, then got back in car and radio as object disappeared.” The evil Ray Stanford thought this was too short in his interviews on-site with Zamora. Zamora told him he thought it took only 10 seconds to get to the perlite mill after it departed. Stanford upped this to 20 seconds, and maybe another 5-7 seconds (from Zamora’s reconstruction on-site) for it to “gain altitude very rapidly” over the mountains and fadeout; total time, less than 30 seconds for departure, plus another 10 for liftoff when Zamora was running away (instead of Zamora’s 20 seconds for liftoff plus departure—Stanford was being conservative).

    Thus SUPER-CONSERVATIVE speed estimate: Assume only 3 miles to fadeout over mountains (instead of Zamora’s estimated 6 miles), 1 minute time for departure until fadeout (instead of under 30 seconds for Stanford, or under 20 seconds for Zamora). That’s still 3 miles a minute or an average speed of 180 mph.

    So this "hoax" “balloon” could do the following: Fly directly into Hynek’s “very strong southwest wind”, traveling horizontally to the ground for 2 miles, then rise up just as it got to the base of the mountains, going at an extremely conservative 180 mph.

    This wasn’t a “magic trick” by NM Tech students. This is magical thinking by skepti-bunkers who are unfamiliar with basic facts of the case and/or who don’t care (their mind’s made up) and/or who can’t think logically or rationally.

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  22. "The object was traveling at approximately 120 miles per hour when it disappeared over the mountains according to Zamora’s best estimate," per Quintanilla in "UFO’S: AN AIR FORCE DILEMMA"

    http://www.ufocasebook.com/afdilemma.pdf

    That's still very fast but within a reasonable margin for error. Windy day per Zamora. Ground winds about 50 mph? 200 or so feet off the ground maybe 80-90 mph?

    Certainly a lot slower than the 2000+ mph claims that have been made.

    Your wind direction information has my attention.

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  23. Frank Stalter said...
    "Regarding Socorro, just for one little detail, how many silent balloons have you ever seen that have accelerated into the wind at hundreds of miles an hour?"

    What source are you basing that speed of the vehicle and the direction of the wind on? If you can source that information from someone other than Stanford, or someone merely quoting him, I'd like to see it.
    November 8, 2009 9:28 PM
    -------------------------------

    Part 1 of 3 (due to the 4096 character limit per comment)

    Here's just one source, in reply to your request for "non-Stanford" references to wind direction (I’ve also included another excerpt from this letter in reference to cardboard, as will be explained below):

    From: http://bit.ly/1Cf2tt

    [Saturday Night Uforia: Death of a legend
    (detailed article by "two roads" on Daily Kos diary website, which includes numerous official government documents, and nothing from Stanford, regarding the Socorro incident)]

    "I am also enclosing a piece of the identical type of cardboard originally picked up by me at the landing site. The only difference between this cardboard and the one that picked up and turned into the Air Force is that the original piece had charred edges which may or may not have had any connection with the alleged landing. But that it was charred I will attest to. This sort of cardboard gets caught under many of the bushes in that area. As you know the winds there can get very high in the windy season and you not only see tumbleweeds batting across the county, but papers, old lunch boxes, packing crates, etc. also merrily batting along. These get wedged in under the bushes and stay there to weather sometimes for a year or more, I would judge. This cardboard, as you can see, has plainly been weathered quite some time and is hardly the kind that would have been used to fake a model of a spaceship."

    ...

    "The wind was blowing strongly from the south, yet the object was reported to have gone on directly west. This would hardly fit a balloon, unless, or course, the directions are wrong. I questioned and requestioned the people on this point and couldn't shake them from that."


    [Excerpts of 29 April 1965 letter from Dr. J. Allen Hynek to Dr. Donald Menzel, reporting on his onsite findings regarding the Socorro incident, and in reply to Dr. Menzel's letter, wherein Menzel in part suggested teenagers might have created a hoax, which Hynek disputed as unlikely, considering all the investigated variables.]


    The point of my posting the above two excerpts, in response to your query, Mr. Stalter, is to show that this case has details and elements which Anthony Bragalia, and now you, have chosen to either ignore, dispute, or mischaracterize.

    Your actions and comments in this regard show quite clearly that both you and Bragaliz are not being either honest or conducting an objective, serious investigation into the known facts and reports regarding this case. What this indicates is a form of "confirmation bias," whereby you both come up with or endorse someone else's hypothesis, without proof, and then cherry-pick and distort the facts that support your ideas and bias. This is not either objective or scientific. I thank David Rudiak for supplying additional details and research indicating the _minimum_ speed of the "balloon-like" object that sped silently away from the landing spot.

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  24. "The point of my posting the above two excerpts, in response to your query, Mr. Stalter, is to show that this case has details and elements which Anthony Bragalia, and now you, have chosen to either ignore, dispute, or mischaracterize."

    I freely admit to being extraordinarily selective about how I'm weighing facts, evidence and opinion in this case. I think I have demonstrated that a great deal of exaggeration sprang up surrounding this case from Day 1, including main-stream media accounts. If I err, I will do so on the side of extreme caution.

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  25. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/7/801376/-Saturday-Night-Uforia:-Death-of-a-legend

    An excellent article.

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  26. Part 2 of 3:

    Here's the point: the wind was blowing either directly against the direction the object took, or possibly at an angle into the crosswind. After rising up on a loud jet of flame to the eye-level of Zamora, and after he had his glasses back on, it took off silently toward the mountains in the distance at a height of 10 to 15 feet horizontally, and then, as it accelerated, rose up and disappeared from Zamora's view within 3 or so minutes over an approximate distance of 6 miles.

    Even if, as Stanford did, you double some of the time estimates Zamora made regarding the actions he took, or quadruple time and shorten distance factors as Rudiak has noted, the speed of the object from vertical takeoff and hover to slow acceleration while moving horizontally several feet off the ground, until it rose higher in the sky and then moved very fast out of sight, you have a least a couple hundred miles an hour to possibly several hundred within a mile or so (up to a couple thousand as it waned from sight in the distance 4 to 6 miles away) before disappearing. Neither the U.S. nor any foreign country or aerospace manufacturer had a craft that had or even today has that capability combined with the reported characteristics of silent movement or observed shape. None.

    Can you explain how a balloon does that? Can you explain how this could have been hoaxed by college students who have supposedly been silent about this for 45 years? Can you explain the other concurrent sightings in the same area, and other relatively distant areas around the same time by others of a very similar object? Can you explain, as Hynek describes above in the excerpt of his letter to Menzel, "...enclosing a piece of the identical type of cardboard originally picked up by me at the landing site. The only difference between this cardboard and the one that picked up and turned into the Air Force is that the original piece had charred edges which may or may not have had any connection with the alleged landing. But that it was charred I will attest to. This sort of cardboard gets caught under many of the bushes in that area"? Hynek does not describe cardboard tubes, or pyrotechnic cylindrical "whistlers"; he describes what would seem to be relatively small, flat pieces of scrap cardboard with burned edges that can easily be carried by local winds, and since he arrived at the scene after the incident, could have been deposited by wind at the site either before or after the incident, and thus would be completely irrelevant.

    Also, no reports of gunpowder residue or smell--since this case was throughly investigated by Blue Book personnel, and after lengthy analysis, concluded this was one of their "unknown" cases, don't you think they would have made some mention of either pyrotechnic cardboard tubes with burned interiors and/or gunpowder residue if there were any? You know they would have. Yet they did not. Explain that, please. Also, the flame observed by Zamora was emerging from the bottom of the ovoid object as it rose to a height of 10 to 15 feet. As it moved horizontally, clearing the nearby dynamite shack by a few feet, it was already silent. Is Bragalia, or you, claiming the flame coming from the bottom of the object while it rose upward into the air was also a pyrotechnic device attached to a balloon? Read the descriptions of the color, conical shape, and change of visual characteristics of said flame at the site I have noted here.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Part 3 of 3:

    Explain the difference between that, and what Bragalia has stated, which if he were honest and a decent researcher, would have disclosed he has no documentation whatsoever that the cardboard recovered was in the form of pyrotechnic tubes with internal residues of gunpowder. And that, if he cannot establish such a claim factually, and with proper documentation or any citation to such, that his analysis is invented, false, and begins to fall apart on just that one point, among many others. Mere speculation without evidence.

    Does not that fact alone challenge you to ask yourself, and Bragalia, where he came up with this presumption, and how he can make such a false claim? I'd like you to explain these facts, and answer each of my questions, if you're serious.

    Another note: if you read the documents at the site I noted above, and examine the drawings made at the time, you will see that Zamora initially thought he saw from the gravel road a car that might have crashed on end, with either the nose or the rear of the "car" on the ground and the body of the vehicle standing on end in a vertical position. When he, on his third attempt, finaly crested the hill which initially obscured his view, as he got closer, and started to drive down over the hill on the road, that's when he saw that the object was on angled legs a few feet above the ground, and from the side as he was then able to observe, the object had an ovoid or horizontal "egg" or football shape, indicating that his first view was of the object's end point, and only after he got closer and saw it from the side did the ovoid shape become apparent. Does this sound like the spherical shape of a balloon to you?

    In addition, the logo or emblem seen on the side of the object, which has commonly been considered an upward pointing arrow shape with a horizontal line underneath and a semi-circular arc line above it has been revealed by Stanford as a fabrication promulgated by U.S. Army Capt. Richard Holder, ORD/C up-range commander at White Sands Missle Range Stallion Site, who asked that Zamora sign his name to it, as a deliberate red herring to see if anyone else might report a similar object later and who claimed a similar icon was seen could then be eliminated as a false witness. The actual icon or symbol, if that's what it was, was actually an inverted "V" with three equal horizontal lines, equally spaced, overlaid by the inverted V. Of course, the UFO Iconclast(s) blog got that wrong, also, I noticed. It was also Capt. Holder, the first military man called to the scene by the local police, also told Zamora to keep quiet, at least to the public, about the two “small men” in white coveralls he saw, one of whom reacted in a startled manner when he looked back and noticed Zamora observing them.

    I do not claim, in turn, that Zamora saw an alien spacecraft. I do not know what he saw. I was not there. Nor was anyone else directly present at the scene to confirm what he reported. I suppose he could have made the whole thing up. Staged the oddly half-burned bushes. Faked the burned ground area and compression spots the leg pads. If it was a hoax, as Hynek speculated at one point, that also would have had to include police Sgt. Chavez, the sheriff, other police personnel, and FBI agent Brynes, all at or called to scene shortly after the incident Zamora reported by radio had occurred. If you take the time and read the series of original government docs at the site I have noted, you'll see that would have been quite a complex task, given the timing and other variables Hynek noted. But, I doubt very much it was a hoax, at least as described and detailed by Bragalia.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "the speed of the object from vertical takeoff and hover to slow acceleration while moving horizontally several feet off the ground, until it rose higher in the sky and then moved very fast out of sight, you have a least a couple hundred miles an hour to possibly several hundred within a mile or so (up to a couple thousand as it waned from sight in the distance 4 to 6 miles away) before disappearing."

    Estimating distance on the ground, especially on terrain you're familiar with, is much more likely to be accurate than estimating the distance of airborne objects.

    Bragalia's explanation of the sighting has been out there almost two months now, everybody and his brother have taken their shots and the point regarding the wind direction is the only rebuttal that appears to present a potential quandary. The explanation holds up. It's solid.

    At this point, it's time for the skeptics to answer the simple questions, "What are you offering? What is your explanation?"

    ReplyDelete
  29. Part 4:

    That's what I object to. His interpretation of the known documentation does not stand up. It is wrong. Adhering to selected facts, ignoring others, and mischaracterizing additional facts and documentation simply to support your contentions, without being able to reexamine and revise your hypothesis when further evidence is presented, is the opposite of the scientific method, and is what I have a problem with in this case. That is not critical thinking. Bragalia's work shows poor scholarship and imprecise, sloppy construction and thinking.

    My concern here is that Bragalia has not established in any objective, factual way what he contends. He did the same with the Roswell debris series he wrote. He constructed a sensationalistic, poorly documented, fabric of supposition, confirmation bias, false and misleading claims, poorly documented, with misinterpreted citations, and grievously inadequate investigation. He has not proven his case, in either the Socorro or Roswell incidents he reported upon. Now, it is up to you and Tony to prove me either wrong or right, by objective fact and empirical, well-founded and documented research. Perhaps you can invite Bragalia over here to make a direct response to my comments and questions. Your turn.

    P.S.-- I took a breakfast break in between posting the first comment and the later 3. I had to add this fourth comment, as the 4096 character limit on single comments, when I edited my comments a bit, put me over the limit.

    It was a bit disconcerting to find you had posted a comment after my part one, but since you mentioned "I freely admit to being extraordinarily selective about how I'm weighing facts, evidence and opinion in this case. I think I have demonstrated that a great deal of exaggeration sprang up surrounding this case from Day 1, including main-stream media accounts. If I err, I will do so on the side of extreme caution," all I can say is good, exercise critical judgement, not only of my statements, but of Bragalia's as well, and refer to the source documents in both cases while doing so. I would still like your specific reply or answer to my several questions about this case. And I would also note that while "a great deal of exaggeration" has sprung up about this case, due to it's unique and extraordinary nature, quite unlike virtually any other case I'm aware of in fact, whatever the "mainstream media" has said about it is less relevant or important when compared to the original statements and official source records that should be the basis for critical analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I wish to put some questions, as distinct from comments:

    1. What did Zamora think the object was when he first reported it?
    2. Unless he believed it was a UFO, why did he report it at all?
    3. Does anyone know of Zamora's pre-April 1964 activities and interests, e.g. did he take any interest in UFOs, special aircraft, space travel, local history, or did he possess books/articles on any of these subjects, or ever talk about them before his sighting?
    4. What interaction, if any, did he have with the presumed students before and after the incident?
    5. How did it affect his subsequent career in the police force? (I am thinking of possible psychological effects, depression, unable to carry out his duties and such.)

    The above may not be considered all that relevant, but they need to be considered in any attempt to get a solution.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Frank, in reference to your comments:

    Estimating distance on the ground, especially on terrain you're familiar with, is much more likely to be accurate than estimating the distance of airborne objects.

    Bragalia's explanation of the sighting has been out there almost two months now, everybody and his brother have taken their shots and the point regarding the wind direction is the only rebuttal that appears to present a potential quandary. The explanation holds up. It's solid.

    At this point, it's time for the skeptics to answer the simple questions, "What are you offering? What is your explanation?"
    -------------------------------------------------

    It looks like we are cross-posting comments here. And maybe we're also beginning to speak past each other at the same time. I will try one final time to make my points:

    Your general comment about the difference between estimating ground distances of territory you're familiar with as opposed to airborne objects, as a generality, might make sense but Rudiak has done some of the math, based on the size of the object seen close-up by Zamora, and how far away it would be just prior to disappearing, and as a way of gauging relative speed, especially at the distance of several miles from the point of departure. Maybe he can note this data here. So the speed and distance elements, also considering the object disappeared somewhere near the mountain estimated to be about 6 miles distant from the arroyo, and thus could be used to gauge the airborne distance covered just prior to disappearing, allows for a more specific speed and distance estimate than your statement would imply and attempt to suggest.

    Much more importantly, in this debate at least, your statement that "...everybody and his brother have taken their shots and the point regarding the wind direction is the only rebuttal that appears to present a potential quandary. The explanation holds up. It's solid" is not true. The wind direction is not the only rebuttal. Explain the lack of documentation or any reference to cardboard pyrotechnic tubes or lack of any evidence within same of gunpowder residue or smell, which would have been self-evident and documented if they had been found. You know Blue Book would have desired to dismiss this case on any evidence like that if found, and to come up with a prosaic explanation. They did not. So, your contention that Bragalia's explanation holds up, and that it's solid, is in fact demonstratably untrue, based on the points I just made about the lack of cardboard cylinders or gunpowder or pyrotechnic residue. It's specious of you to simply proclaim by general assertion without responding to these latter two obvious points, or contentions of mine. Surely you can do better, or get Bragalia to come over here to hold forth and prove me wrong by citing his documentation or proof. Guess what, he and you won't because you have none and therefore can't. I think I'm just about done here if you can't respond directly to my questions and pointed references to Bragalia's lack of any evidence in this regard.

    As for my explanation as to what Zamora saw? I have no idea. It was unknown. I would venture a guess that it was an: Unidentified. Flying. Object.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "As for my explanation as to what Zamora saw? I have no idea. It was unknown. I would venture a guess that it was an: Unidentified. Flying. Object."

    Way to stick your neck out there!

    All kidding aside, I really appreciate your contributions here, particularly the Daily Kos article. I will answer your questions, they are legitimate, but I'm at work now.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh. You're at work? And you're posting commentary on UFO cases while earning a salary? I'm not sure whether I should say "shame on you!" or "wow--way to go!". I'm afraid my boss is not so lax in supervision, as I'm self-employed. I kid. Anyway, also wanted to say I hope you don't take my comments too personally, even though in the heat of the moment, due to the apparent lack of specific response, I did get rather frustrated. This is not about you, or me, or even Bragalia, btw. It's about appropriate conclusions reached based on careful, documented, objective scholarship and empirical standards of investigation and analysis. Nothing less is going to make a difference in researching the UFO topic, which I know you, Tony, and I all would like some better answers to, but it is hard, complex work to do properly, and I have to say I find Bragalia's work on Socorro and Roswell both inadequate, unfounded, and generally wanting. I wish he could understand why his articles have gotten such a generally negative and critical reception. See wikipedia for the definition of "confirmation bias"--he has all the symptoms of someone who, once he comes to a conclusion, even though it can be clearly shown his case has not been made, seems to retreat into a personal defensive mode of defending his opinions even more strongly, rather than address the issues others have repeatedly pointed out, from both the skepti-bunker and advocate or even "believer" parts of the spectrum. That ought to tell him something, but he is not nearly as open-minded and able to reevaluate his contentions as he really should and needs to be to make any real progress in this arena. It's actually quite disheartening to have to say this, as I suspect he's a good person, but his standards of evidence and proof are abysmal.

    "Way to stick your neck out there!"

    Heh. And so your explanation? It was a college prank by students or hoax? Way to pull your neck back into the shell! I kid, I kid!

    I'll check back here for your hopefully more detailed and coherent response to my questions late this afternoon or early evening. Take your time. All I want is an intelligent, factual discussion of the issues. Otherwise, we're just acting like silly, strutting clowns in the ufological circus. Let's not waste any more time and effort.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Frank Stalter wrote:
    "The object was traveling at approximately 120 miles per hour when it disappeared over the mountains according to Zamora’s best estimate," per Quintanilla in "UFO’S: AN AIR FORCE DILEMMA"

    http://www.ufocasebook.com/afdilemma.pdf

    That's still very fast but within a reasonable margin for error. Windy day per Zamora. Ground winds about 50 mph? 200 or so feet off the ground maybe 80-90 mph?

    Certainly a lot slower than the 2000+ mph claims that have been made.

    Your wind direction information has my attention.


    Well at least the wind direction information got your attention. You seem to be ignoring everything else, more of your highly selective blinders “skepticism” (thus really pseudoskepticism).

    Again, I’d like you to explain how a balloon, in addition to flying almost directly into a stiff wind, can also fly HORIZONTALLY, just above the ground in a STRAIGHT LINE (Zamora’s testimony) for a distance of two miles, then suddenly angle up to clear the mountains (Zamora’s testimony), gain altitude “very rapidly” (Zamora’a testimony), to fade into the sky above the mountains at a distance of about 6 miles, all in under 20 seconds (Zamora’s testimony). Those N.M. Tech student hoaxers were absolute superdupergalactic geniuses to do all that with a “balloon” or any other contrivance.

    If you take Zamora’s estimates of time and distance instead, you have 6 miles in under 20 seconds (yes, I can use my own selection of Zamora’s statements if you can), this is AT LEAST 18 miles a minute or 1080 mph AVERAGE SPEED. The fact that the object seemed to speed up or accelerate as it sped away and then climbed at high speed in the distance (Zamora’s testimony) indicates even higher top speeds. E.g., if the acceleration was constant, the top speed as it faded out would be double the average speed, or over 2000 mph.

    I did a super-conservative calculation of 180 mph average speed assuming a 1 minute departure to fadeout time (instead of Zamora’s 10-20 seconds or Standford’s under 30 seconds) and a fadeout of only 3 miles (instead of Zamora’s 6 miles), but the peak speed would have been even higher (unless you believe in instantaneous acceleration to 180 mph, which I wouldn’t put past you). But even this super-conservative speed calculation isn’t good enough for you. You have to low-ball it even further to absurd levels (which you spin in true pseudoscientific “skeptical” fashion into “within reasonable margin of error”).

    Quintanella’s “120 mph” is unsourced (have you ever seen the interview where Zamora said this?), and typical of Air Force attempts to minimize important details of inexplicable cases. Quintanella was probably the biggest debunker to ever head Blue Book and also probably the dumbest. He was still clinging to his stupid, unprovable “lunar lander” theory to the end. At least he was forced to admit that Zamora’s sighting was quite real and the AF couldn’t come up with any plausible explanation.

    Quintella, incidentally, had totally ruled out hoax, saying it would have required a conspiracy between Zamora, fellow police officers, and even the FBI agent, to falsify the total absence of physical evidence at the site of any hoaxing, e.g. footprints that would have been all over the place from real hoaxers in the real world. This, of course, is another inconvenient fact you won’t deal with, also indicating magical thinking, that hoaxers could leave nary a trace of their existence behind. Perhaps they floated off with your equally magical balloon that flies into the wind in a perfect straight line at ground level.

    (continued next post)

    ReplyDelete
  35. (part 2)
    If Zamora had instead estimated that the object disappeared at over 1000 or 2000 mph, I am quite sure Qunintella and you would have argued that speed estimates from miles away are unreliable, and you would have been right.

    But “120 mph”? Oh, you can take that to the bank, because it is a super-lowball speed estimate that conforms to your own obvious biases, more of your highly selective “skepticism”. But it in no way conforms with Zamora’s other testimony of elapsed time and distance, which clearly indicate speeds far in excess of 120 mph.

    Even if you ignore the math, what about your own experience of seeing a car far off in the distance on a highway, both of you going 60 mph, or 120 mph relative speed if approaching? Until it gets fairly close, like within ¼ - ½ mile, you can’t even tell if it is coming or going at that speed. It doesn’t loom fast enough (there are visual limits to detection of motion in depth), and you certainly can’t estimate the two of you are approaching at 120 mph. Now take the car 1-6 miles away, still moving 120 mph relative to you. You would have a tough time even telling if the car was moving. But Zamora reported the object getting smaller “very fast” even as it moved almost directly away from him. That alone indicates speeds far in excess of 120 mph to have detected the rapid recession in depth.

    Finally, since you are demanding sources for everything, what is your source for the wind blowing “50 mph” or gale force? And what source are you using that the winds could then climb to “80-90 mph” or hurricane force only 200 feet above ground? (This is just total nonsense that would make any meteorologist laugh) Obviously this is just pure invention on your part and a further attempt to grossly lowball the actual speed of departure. It is not remotely within “reasonable margin of error,” which it seems you don’t even know the meaning of.

    Not that it really matters, considering the object flew into the wind in obviously a very controlled manner (horizontal straight line flight for 2 miles, just rising with terrain), something a real-life balloon could never do, not without the use of magical thinking or mind-altering drugs.

    Incidentally, the landing site in your article is also way off from the real one, one of your many, many factual errors. But that’s a subject for another post.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey Anonymous,

    Looks like I have a full evening ahead of me with both you and David. Just very quickly I do want to respond to this quote: "Now, it is up to you and Tony to prove me either wrong or right, by objective fact and empirical, well-founded and documented research."

    I am absolutely, positively looking to stick to the documents, I hope that's clear. However, I do want to make clear, I'm approaching this trying to think like the pranksters. How would they do it?

    As far as Anthony's writing is concerned, he's picked up the phone, talked to a lot of people, gathered a lot of information and put it out there. The responses I'm seeing is a lot of cherry picking. "Rear screen projection? Nah, it's all nonsense, preposterous." Also, a lot of ignoring just how credible and distinguished his on-the-record sources are.

    Ray Stanford is credible but Sterling Colgate and Frank Etscorn are not?

    http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/10/08/Poehler%20and%20Meyers%20SNL-thumb-325x283.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  37. Frank Stalter wrote:
    I am absolutely, positively looking to stick to the documents, I hope that's clear. However, I do want to make clear, I'm approaching this trying to think like the pranksters. How would they do it?

    As far as Anthony's writing is concerned, he's picked up the phone, talked to a lot of people, gathered a lot of information and put it out there. The responses I'm seeing is a lot of cherry picking. "Rear screen projection? Nah, it's all nonsense, preposterous." Also, a lot of ignoring just how credible and distinguished his on-the-record sources are.


    Yes, do tell us how they would do it, such as rear screen projection in DAYLIGHT onto what exactly? More magic invisible screens? And how do you project to make it appear like a 3D solid object (remember Zamora got within 50 feet). Daylight laser holograms in 1964? And how do you “project” an image to appear to recede in the distance 2 miles, then rise up over the mountains, and fade into the sky. More magic tricks, or just more magical thinking on your and Bragalia's part? (Oh yes, I forget, it was really a magical balloon that flew directly into the wind in a straight line for 2 miles at hundreds of miles an hour.)

    And this isn’t the half of it. They would also need to sear brush, soil, and rocks so that they were still smoldering when Zamora, Chavez, and other police went down into the arroyo within 1-2 minutes of departure. Other police and witnesses were on the scene within 10 minutes, and observed the same thing. Hynek mentioned speaking to 9 witnesses who reported exactly what Ray Stanford also reported: "I have the word of nine witnesses who saw the marks within hours of the incident, who tell me the center of the marks were moist as though the topsoil had been freshly pushed aside.”

    Zamora and Chavez tried to replicate the rectangular, wedge-shaped landing marks by digging into the soft soil. They could not. Something of great weight had compressed the soil instead, not dug it out. The newspaper editor (another person soon on the scene) in the Socorro Chieftain story April 28 noted that the marks “did not appear to have been made by an object striking the earth with great force, but by an object of considerable weight settling to earth at slow speed and not moving at all.”

    So how did the hoaxers make the “fresh” “moist” marks with something of great weight, yet leave no evidence of its existence? Obviously another of your great “magic tricks”.

    Hynek was still very impressed that the landing marks were still distinct months later when he revisited, despite the area being trampled by hundreds of curious people since then. Some of the landing impressions are still faintly there, as Zamora himself pointed out only last year on the UFO Hunters program. A simple magic trick? No I think not.

    The AF examined plant and soil samples for evidence of any chemical propellant that could have possibly accounted for the burning at the site. They found nothing, according to their written report. So what burnt the plants and soil? How did the “hoaxers” manage to burn everything so that it was still smoldering immediately afterward, yet leave absolutely no trace of how it was done—no chemical residue, no equipment, no nothing? That’s another amazing “magic trick.” So is supposedly scampering off carrying the incriminating equipment that made that freshly made evidence with you, leaving no footprints anywhere, all with Zamora right there and Chavez on the scene within only a minute or two.

    There’s even more, but let’s stop there.

    (cont. next post)

    ReplyDelete
  38. part 2

    Ray Stanford is credible but Sterling Colgate and Frank Etscorn are not?

    Colgate was telling Socorro radio owner Walter Shrode (who was interviewing various people immediately afterward, including Zamora) that it MUST be a hoax by the students (not that he KNEW it was a hoax) because he, Colgate, was much too smart to believe in space aliens causing it, because he knew that interstellar travel was impossible. That was his mindset. That’s the mindset of many pseudoskeptics (it can’t be, therefore it isn’t).

    Colgate won’t respond to Bragalia’s emails anymore, because there is nothing for him to say. He has boxed himself into a corner with an unsupportable claim. Colgate and Etscom cannot name the hoaxers, because they never existed. They cannot tell you how it was done, because there was no hoax (not to mention it was impossible to hoax, if you really bother to examine the evidence). Colgate may believe it, but he obviously knows nothing. He made up the whole NM Tech hoax in his own mind.

    Colgate and Etscom never investigated anything. How does this make them “credible” when it comes to the Socorro UFO case?

    Whether you consider Stanford credible in other of his claims, the man was one of the primary investigators of Socorro, along with Hynek. Hynek not only endorsed his book, but corroborated many of Stanford’s statements about a cover-up by the Air Force (such as the initial photos being fogged by radiation and changing what the object insignia really looked like). Stanford spent days at the site, made measurements, took photos, collected and analyzed physical evidence (e.g., the metal traces on the crushed rock by a landing mark that NASA initially reported didn’t match any known metal alloy), interviewed Zamora numerous times, including reconstructing what happened on-site with Zamora, interviewed many other witnesses, including the police department and various Socorro residents. He spent years on this case before finally publishing his book in 1976. Zamora endorsed the book as being the most accurate account of what really happened.

    But Colgate and Etscom spent zero time on the case, can’t produce an iota of evidence to back up claims of a hoax, but they’re “credible” and Stanford is not. What a joke.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Yes, do tell us how they would do it, such as rear screen projection in DAYLIGHT onto what exactly? More magic invisible screens? And how do you project to make it appear like a 3D solid object (remember Zamora got within 50 feet). Daylight laser holograms in 1964? And how do you “project” an image to appear to recede in the distance 2 miles, then rise up over the mountains, and fade into the sky. More magic tricks, or just more magical thinking on your and Bragalia's part? (Oh yes, I forget, it was really a magical balloon that flew directly into the wind in a straight line for 2 miles at hundreds of miles an hour.)"

    David, prank or not, that didn't happen.

    "And this isn’t the half of it. They would also need to sear brush, soil, and rocks so that they were still smoldering when Zamora, Chavez, and other police went down into the arroyo within 1-2 minutes of departure."

    They weren't still hot, they were cold to the touch. Did you read the Daily Kos story which includes direct photocopied reports from investigators on the scene?

    ReplyDelete
  40. As mentioned in a previous post, Frank Stalters’ location for the landing site is highly erroneous, and hence all things he claims to deduce from this erroneous site are erroneous as well.

    Stalter can't be entirely blamed for this, because most information on the Net about the landing site is bogus as well. The Air Force map he uses is an inaccurate, improperly scaled schematic (even Hynek commented on how bad it was). The map in Stanford’s book is also inaccurate and wrongly scaled (not strictly Stanford’s fault since it was drawn by the book’s publisher and illustrator John Lucas).

    In addition, phony landing sites have sprung up, including one put up by the Chamber of Commerce, much closer to the highway than the real site. This corresponds to roughly where Stalter put his site, but he is way off.

    The real site is about half a mile up the arroyo from the highway (Stalter is off by over a 1000 feet). To see where the real site is and discussion of the false sites, see Socorro historian Paul Hardin's article that appeared in the Socorro El Defensor Chieftain, August 2, 2008:

    http://www.caminorealheritage.org/PH/0808_socorro_ufo.pdf

    The correct site can also be deduced by prominent landmarks seen in two documentaries (Sightings 1997 and UFO Hunters 2008—look them up on YouTube or on the UFO Hunter website) where Zamora led the film crews to the correct site. KRQE TV Albuquerque also did a 2006 program, correctly showing the landing site on a topo map (see 1 minute into video):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NeM0GJZrCM

    Another hint about the true location is from Hynek, who placed it about 500 feet from the dynamite shack, which is about .6 miles from the main road on USGS topo maps from that period. (The actual distance is about 450 feet from the landing site.) Stalter’s landing site, however, is about 1500 ft from the dynamite shack.

    If you want additional clues, the real site pointed out by Zamora in the two programs has an aircraft hangar type church to the south in the background built since then (easily to locate on Google Earth). There is a dirt road crossing the arroyo only about 50 feet west of the landing site connecting Zamora’s dirt road to the one going by the church. Zamora pulled off his car to investigate in almost exactly the same spot as that later dirt road. (the arroyo is fairly shallow and flat there).

    Zamora traveled up two small mesas or low hills (not Stalter’s one). Zamora climbed up the first mesa right after turning off the highway (what Stalter erroneously claims is the hill that concealed the fleeing hoaxers), then crossed across the flat top of the first mesa, and finally spotted the object when he got towards the end of the mesa, about 600-800 feet away, sitting at the base of the second mesa in the arroyo.

    (cont. next post)

    ReplyDelete
  41. (part 2)
    To get to the second mesa, he had to briefly travel through a dip between the two mesas. (Thinking it a possible car wreck, Zamora also indicated he was speeding to the site at this point.) It is only here for a period of maybe 10 seconds that Zamora may not have been able to see anybody running away. But once he starting driving up the second mesa, he had a very broad vantage point. This is a very shallow arroyo with very slight hills, really nowhere to hide—the difference in elevation from the road where Zamora pulled off to the object was only 4-5 feet now, according to Google Earth. Unless there has been very heavy erosion since then, Zamora would have had no trouble seeing the object in the arroyo from the road and knowing exactly where to pull off. If you want to see how gentle the slope is, here are present-day photos of the site:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2693072265_5d4a561097.jpg?v=0
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3271/2693623814_3c05430841.jpg

    Also see YouTube Sightings and UFO Hunters Socorro shows.

    Thus the object was completely visible from the road as he climbed up the second hill and also where he turned off. Another thing to keep in mind is that the present dirt road in Google Earth is not exactly the same as the road back then, according to 1959 and 1971 USGS topos. Back then it was about 60 feet closer to the object where he turned off (or about 110 feet away). He drove about another 50 feet closer before getting out to investigate on foot. In other words, he got to within 50 feet or closer to the object, and was still reporting seeing the object resting on “girderlike” legs.

    In case Stalter imagines that Zamora did not report seeing the legs in his close approach, he most certainly did, as e.g. evidenced by his drawing for the AF of what he saw when he got close and viewed the object from the side:

    http://www.artgomperz.com/a1999/mar/socorro2.jpg
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ufo_briefingdocument/images/1964_1.jpg

    This disposes of another erroneous statement by Stalter, that the “hoaxers” removed the “cardboard” legs and ran off with them before Zamora could get there in a mere 20 or 30 seconds, also magically erasing their footprints during that time, since a careful combing of the area afterwards could turn up no evidence of prints, except exactly at the spot where Zamora reported seeing the two small people. (They also magically erased chemical residues and equipment to make burned plants and soil, still smoldering immediately afterward, as well as magically removed the equipment needed to make fresh, still moist compression landing marks that couldn’t reproduced by simple digging, requiring something of great weight instead.)

    Because the actual landing site is virtually a plain to the south, east and west (no place to rapidly run off and disappear with Zamora up on the mesa above the object), the only hill to run over and disappear was the one to the north of the site that Zamora was rapidly driving up at that very moment. The hoaxers would have had to run right across the road in plain view of Zamora, and travel a distance of about 300 feet uphill, across rocky and shrubbed terrain, to get over the hill and down the other side, supposedly wearing Bragalia’s NM Tech lab suits and boots, and carrying those “cardboard landing gears”. Yeah, right! I don’t think even Usain Bolt could have pulled that off.

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  42. "(Stalter is off by over a 1000 feet)"

    Looks like I'm off by about 800 feet and about 400 feet closer than the great Ray Stanford. Of course, he's a god among men and I'm erroneous. Either way, by all credible accounts, including Zamora himself, he saw the vehicle, as he drove closer his view was obstructed by a hill, providing getaway time, and then he stopped and was either not able to see the vehicle at all or only the top of it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "(Stalter is off by over a 1000 feet)"

    Looks like I'm off by about 800 feet and about 400 feet closer than the great Ray Stanford. Of course, he's a god among men and I'm erroneous. Either way, by all credible accounts, including Zamora himself, he saw the vehicle, as he drove closer his view was obstructed by a hill, providing getaway time, and then he stopped and was either not able to see the vehicle at all or only the top of it.


    No, you are off by over a 1000 feet from the true landing site and 1500 feet from the dynamite shack. All your other feeble arguments about the invisibility of the UFO from the road and the ability of hoaxers to run off unnoticed collapse with the revelation that you don't even know where the site is.

    Not that it matters, but the faulty Stanford map as drawn places the UFO about 300 feet closer to the true site than you do. So, as usual, you are making more false claims, that your map is more accurate.

    The Stanford map also notes the close proximity of the dynamite shack (which on your map would be 1500 feet away).

    As I already noted, Stanford didn't draw the map in his book, in which the draftsman appears to have made a composite of a detailed topo plus a large area map, which is highly accurate. When he put them together onto one map, he somehow rotated and badly screwed up the scale of the topo insert. Stanford could be faulted for not catching the mistake, but, again, he didn't draw the map.

    I tried to be gracious in excusing your mistake in location, noting that there is a lot of erroneous information out there and it is easy to get confused. But it is becoming abundantly clear that you really don't care a whit about accuracy. You just want to be argumentative.

    In your favor, you seem to be a polite debunker (unlike most), but you are still a debunker: inaccurate, illogical, unfair in your treatment of evidence, evasive, and highly biased.

    You will finally explain to us, won't you, how a "balloon" can fly into the wind in a straight line for two miles, or how hoaxers could leave no footprints behind or any other physical evidence of hoaxing?

    Please stop changing the subject to avoid your inability to respond to direct points.

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  44. This may very well be my last post (cheers!). It's getting rather pointless to argue with Frank Stalter, who is obviously just playing typical skepti-bunker games.

    "And this isn’t the half of it. They would also need to sear brush, soil, and rocks so that they were still smoldering when Zamora, Chavez, and other police went down into the arroyo within 1-2 minutes of departure."

    They weren't still hot, they were cold to the touch. Did you read the Daily Kos story which includes direct photocopied reports from investigators on the scene?


    Well, again I see you being highly selective in your use of evidence. How about the Socorro El Defensor Chiefton story April 28, which is also in that Daily Kos page (try reading it):

    “Zamora radioed the sheriff’s office immediately after the object had taken off. State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez, State Policeman Ted Jordan, and Undersheriff James Luckie responded. Chavez and Luckie said the burned clumps of green grass and the greasewood were STILL HOT when they arrived.”

    Jordan was on the scene within about 10 minutes and immediately started taking photos (which were subsequently taken by the Air Force and never returned). Jordan stated in a sworn, signed statement (reproduced in Stanford’s book, p. 160), “When I arrived, GREASEWOOD BRANCHES WERE STILL SMOKING [Jordan underlined to emphasize] as evidence of the effects of the ‘flame’ Zamora saw beneath the object when it took off.”

    Here’s another document, the FBI report from the Albuquerque agent who was at the scene within 2 hours:

    http://nicap.org/docs_nmex/fbi640425_pg1.htm

    “[Zamora] [name blacked out], greatly frightened, radioed his observations and [blacked out but probably Sam Chavez and James Luckie and/or Ted Jordan], quickly on scene, noted four irregularly shaped SMOULDERING AREAS…”

    What this means is that all the police FIRST RESPONDERS agreed ground or plants were still “hot” “smoking” or “smouldering” when they arrived.

    If you think about it logically for a moment (try it), is the ground and brush going to be “cold to the touch” after just being burned by the intense blue flame Zamora witnessed?

    Where does the “cold to the touch” statement come from? From the Air Force write-up, which doesn’t even agree with their own map or other drawings and has lots of basic facts wrong (like the object took off to the south—oh really?). We all know just how unbiased and accurate the Air Force has been in its treatement of UFO evidence.

    The initial report was written up by T/Sgt David Moody from White Sands, who was ordered to the scene TWO DAYS LATER. Interviewing Chavez, he wrote:

    “[Chavez] then went to the area were the craft or thing was supposedly sighted and found four fresh indentations in the ground and several charred or burned bushes. SMOKE APPEARED TO COME FROM THE BUSH and he assumed it was burning, however no coals were visible and the charred portions of the bush were cold to the touch.”

    Was Chavez being quoted accurately? Given the many other inaccuracies in the report, maybe not. The statement also sounds internally inconsistent (it’s smoking but “cool to the touch?”) But at least it supports Jordan’s independent sworn statement that the “greasewood branches were still smoking”.

    The report also elaborates that Chavez said the tracks were “definitely ‘fresh’, and the dirt showed evidence of ‘dew’ or moisture” [meaning freshly made and penetrating into the subsoil, as noted by Hynek, citing statements by nine witnesses, therefore very prominent—note how AF changes this below].

    (cont. next post)

    ReplyDelete
  45. (part 2)

    Note that nothing was said in Moody’s report about the temperature of the rocks, soil, or grass, and as noted, it is full of many gross mistakes, such as Zamora supposedly parking “150 yards” from the object and approached on foot thereafter, getting no closer than 100 feet. (In reality, Zamora’s own statement states that he FIRST spotted the object from an estimated 150 yards, where he stopped his car for only a second or two to observe, then drove the rest of the way to park above the arroyo where he had seen the object, the road being only 100 feet away at this point. The Air Force map also indicates Zamora parked 100 feet from the object, as does the FBI report, though Zamora showed both Hynek and Stanford that his parked car was no more than 60 feet away).

    Moody makes numerous such erroneous claims in his written report, which I could write several posts on detailing. Whether this was just incompetence, carelessness, a lack of understanding from a cursory investigation that lasted only a few hours, or deliberate distortion, I don’t know.

    Moody’s report then got further distorted and watered down in the final AF version of the incident (reproduced in Brad Steiger’s “Project Blue Book”) Here Chavez’s comments become the following: “Chavez reported there were some slight depressions in the ground and apparently some burned brush in the area where Zamora had reported the object. The brush was cold to the touch.”

    So no mention of fresh, moist depressions or Chavez also reporting smoke that appeared to come from the brush. This is just typical Air Force revisionism and distortion of evidence that we have seen in numerous UFO cases.

    I notice the writer of the Daily Kos article isn’t impressed with the other ridiculous explanations, like the lunar lander 600 miles away at Edwards AFB or the non-flying lunar surveyor at White Sands. Nor does he give much credence to the current hoax claims, noting Sterling Colgate won’t provide details, and adding, “the claim of perpetrating a hoax is easily made after the fact, with no evidence provided. And of course, those who would hoax one person are just as apt to deceive another.” He also notes that Hynek could find zero evidence of a hoax (and neither could the Air Force).

    Yeah, zero evidence of hoax, but some arrogant scientist who thinks he is smarter than everybody else says it must have been a hoax, therefore it was a hoax. Way to go, Frank! Keep up those high standards of cherry-picked “evidence.”

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  46. "Was Chavez being quoted accurately? Given the many other inaccuracies in the report, maybe not. The statement also sounds internally inconsistent (it’s smoking but “cool to the touch?”) But at least it supports Jordan’s independent sworn statement that the “greasewood branches were still smoking”."

    Talk about picking and choosing. Your claims are preposterous David. A documented fact that actually supports the hoax explanation and Chavez must have been misquoted. How weak and intellectually dishonest is that?

    I wrote in the original article that my map was "a fairly good representation" of the site and it is. Certainly better than the false impression that the site was set miles into the desert on ground as flat as a pool table.

    You pull claims of the vehicle leaving the area at 2000 mph "if the acceleration was constant" based on absolutely nothing. There is nothing in the documentation that suggests that.

    Hynek himself wrote that Zamora's view of the vehicle was obscured by a hill between his first and second view of it.

    Everybody else is wrong, including the witness and professional on site investigators, but David Rudiak is right. God bless you and your omniscience.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The 2000mph figure is certainly fiction.
    The lesser figure of 1000mph is certainly fiction.
    Reason? There were no sonic booms reported.

    All estimates of the speed of the object are likely to be wildly inaccurate and meaningless, as are quoted distances. For this reason, I would discount any reported speed or indeed any calculated speed (average or final) as worthless. If this debate is to continue, it is far better to concentrate on the 'tangibles' like burn marks, scorched ground, footprints, etc.

    The identity and methodology of the hoaxers, if there were any, are, as David Rudiak says, never going to be revealed, whatever Anthony Bragalia promises us.

    And yes, if you hear a crunching sound it is me eating my words.

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  48. The lack of a sonic boom is an excellent point. I'm kicking myself right now because I'm a big Chuck Yeager/The Right Stuff fan.

    The scorched but cold plants in Sgt. Moody's report is a significant piece of information.

    The best approach is keeping the debate open and ongoing. New information comes to light, we get closer to having some idea of what happened.

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  49. Regarding lack of sonic boom in Socorro case:

    This is typical of UFO reports and proves nothing about the speed or conventionality.

    Sonic boom at supersonic speeds can be eliminated theoretically by controlling the air flow around the craft. This has been dealt with by a number of scientists and engineers, including rocketry pioneer Hermann Oberth, NASA engineers Paul Hill and James McCampbell, aeronautical engineer Leik Myrabo, and others.

    Try reading Paul Hill's "Unconventional Flying Objects" for starters.

    You can also take to the bank Zamora's report of the object traveling horizontally for 2 miles to the perlite mill at the base of the mountains. This is a very, very prominent landmark, very easy to see in the distance from the site. Add to this Zamora's account of the object rising up there, clearing the mountains, and fading in the distance, at least another mile of travel. Total 3 miles, the figure I used in my super-conservative estimate of departure speed.

    Zamora's estimate of a 6 mile fadeout in the vicinity of 6-mile canyon/box canyon is also reasonable from known human visual psychophysics. The object would have subtended about 1 minarc at that distance, just about what you would expect for losing sight of the object. (Normal acuity in adults is .75-1.0 minarc)

    Time of departure: When the object lifted off in a roar, Zamora ran for his life, passing his car and running up hill just beyond the road before stopping, because he heard the roar stop. He estimated 50 feet beyond the car. Maybe it was 100 feet (AF figure). At that point, the object went completely silent and departed.

    Zamora then ran back to his car (~100'), picked up his dropped glasses, put them on, went to the front seat to try to radio in, but couldn't at first, all the while watching the object growing smaller "very fast" in the distance, and then said he saw the object sharply rise over the perlite mill and disappear very fast.

    So here's the question: How long would it take Zamora to run back to his car and do all this? Do you really think it would take several minutes? How about on the order of 10-20 seconds for the object to go those two miles? (Right in line with Zamora's estimate of 10 seconds, then doubled by Stanford to 20).

    Let's not even deal with the rise time, though Stanford told me he went over this very carefully with Zamora at the site, with Zamora pointing in the distance and reconstructing just how quickly it had risen. From Zamora's account, Stanford put the rise time to fadeout over the mountains at only 5-7 seconds.

    But let us only consider the 2 miles to the mill and maybe 20 seconds for Zamora to do all the things he said he did in the interval until he saw the object rise. That's 6 miles a minute average speed or 360 mph. The peak speed will be higher because the object doesn't magically start at its average speed, but has to accelerate there from a dead stop.

    While this is a conventional speed, no conventional craft can do this in dead silence, as Zamora reported.

    I know the skeptibunkers will never accept such estimates, but I have a physics degree and this sort of reasonable scientific bracketing or ballpark estimation is done routinely in science and engineering in the absence of specific data.

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  50. Frank Stalter wrote:

    "Was Chavez being quoted accurately? Given the many other inaccuracies in the report, maybe not. The statement also sounds internally inconsistent (it’s smoking but “cool to the touch?”) But at least it supports Jordan’s independent sworn statement that the “greasewood branches were still smoking”."

    Talk about picking and choosing. Your claims are preposterous David.


    You claimed that even after Zamora reported an intense blue flame, there was no smoking, smoldering, or heating of the ground or plants reported afterwards, based on what turns out to be a single AF statement that the charred part of the greasewood plant was “cool to the touch.” But that same report also stated that Sam Chavez said the plant appeared to be smoking, just as Ted Jordan, another first responder reported in his sworn statement. Chavez, Jordan, and another first responder, James Luckie, were all quoted in the local newspaper that the grass and brush were “still hot” when they arrived. And the FBI report likewise noted that four areas were noted by the first responders as being “smouldering” when they arrived.

    So that is four instances of where witnesses reported things still hot out there when they arrived versus your one partial one. So it is not I who is doing the picking and choosing here. It is you.

    I wrote in the original article that my map was "a fairly good representation" of the site and it is.

    It is over a 1000 feet off and you have the audacity to still claim that it is “a fairly good representation?” You also made several false statements about object/people visibility based on your totally inaccurate “fairly good representation.”

    Ceratinly better than the false impression that the site was set miles into the desert on ground as flat as a pool table.

    Well, now you’re just outright lying. Where did I say the site “was set miles into the desert on ground as flat as a pool table?”

    What I REALLY said was that the real site was about HALF A MILE from where Zamora turned off the main road, not “miles into the desert.” Sheesh!

    And I said it was practically a plain out there, with only a few feet change in elevation to the east, south, and west (easily verifiable with Google Earth), therefore nowhere for hoaxers to escape notice running away as Zamora pulled up on top of the mesa above where the object was situated. He would have had a panaromic view of the area. And if they tried to escape to the north, across the only close hill and disappear down the other side, they would have had to run uphill, across the road, directly in front of Zamora as he was speeding up the hill, again rather hard to escape notice.

    You’ll notice this description of mine also tallies with what Hynek wrote about Zamora’s approach and the topography out there, detailed below.

    You pull claims of the vehicle leaving the area at 2000 mph "if the acceleration was constant" based on absolutely nothing. there is nothing in the documentation that suggests that.

    Zamora’s own statement (that is also documentation) gave estimates of his entire close encounter lasting only 20 seconds (unlikely, but that is what he said, at least initially) and the object fading out 6 miles in the distance, after getting smaller in the distance “very fast” for two miles and then going into a climb over the mountains. The Socorro newspaper (also documentation) in a detailed article, based in part on talking to Zamora, added the object gained altitude “very rapidly” once it reached the mountains.

    Taking Zamora’s own words at face value (time, distance), the object covered 6 miles in under 20 seconds, for an AVERAGE speed of at least 1080 mph. (basic math/physics) Maybe you don’t get it Frank, but objects also don’t accelerate instantaneously. Peak speed is greater than average speed. (Basic physics) Zamora’s statements also suggest an increase in speed (the inevitable acceleration) during the course of its departure.

    ReplyDelete
  51. (part 2)
    So I said (merely giving a possible example) that if the object had constant acceleration, the peak speed would have been double the average speed (basic physics), or over 2000 mph, using Zamora’s own time/distance estimates. It could have been much greater than this, depending on the actual flight profile, such as slower acceleration at the beginning, higher acceleration during the climb. (basic physics) It could also have had a much lower peak speed, if, e.g., it had a very high acceleration initially, then maintained a constant speed thereafter. But that isn’t exactly how “balloons” operate, now is it Frank?

    And apparently you have already forgotten my super-conservative example where I halved Zamora’s fade-out distance and at least tripled the departure time, to get an average speed of only 180 mph (but again the peak speed would have been higher—objects have to accelerate).

    Obviously that again rules out your hoax “balloon” (that also flies against the wind in Zamora’s straight line for 2 miles). But even that wasn’t good enough for the likes of you. No, you had to invent a “50 mph” ground wind, which magically upped to “80-90” mph only 200 feet up.

    Now Frank, I ask you yet again, where did you get those numbers, you who claims to base everything on “documentation” while accusing me of making things up? From Zamora? From a document? Show us the documentation Frank that suggests such wind speeds. You obviously pulled them out of your rear end to try to support your preposterous hoax balloon theory.

    Hynek himself wrote that Zamora's view of the vehicle was obscured by a hill between his first and second view of it.

    Frank, Frank. You must stop misrepresenting what people wrote. Here is what Hynek REALLY said in his Socorro report, again on that Daily Kos website that you referenced, but obviously didn’t bother to read thoroughly:

    “He then stated that he proceeded down the very poor gravel road, TEMPORARILY losing sight of the object behind a SLIGHT RISE in the land, that is, behind one of the hillocks that formed an arroyo between them. [What I called a dip between the two small mesas, and which I also said that in the dip he might not have seen fleeing people for maybe 10 seconds—Hyneks’ “temporarily”] He thus came up upon the object from behind the hill and from the side…he apparently SAW THE OBJECT AGAIN WHILE HE WAS DRIVING [just as I said, that after he got out of the dip, he would have had no trouble seeing the object again from the road] and continued to drive for some distance. [contrary to your nonsensical statement that it was impossible for him to see the object from the road as he drove up, based on your “fairly good representation” highly inaccurate map]

    “He finally stopped the car at the clearing just before the ground descends into the little arroyo (see photograph 2). Photograph 2 is important in that it shows HOW CLOSE HE WAS TO THE OBJECT. IT IS CLEAR FROM THIS THAT ANY COMMON OBJECT WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN EASILY RECOGNIZED. It would seem virtually incredible that an ordinary object, such as a BALLOON, helicopter, private small plane, etc., could have remained unidentified…”

    Gee, Frank, I guess Hynek doesn’t agree with you that Zamora saw a balloon. Incidentally, Zamora simultaneously showed Ray Stanford and Hynek the spot he drove to and parked, and where Hynek took his “photograph 2”. Stanford sent me the photograph he took from the same spot, indeed in good agreement with his statement that Zamora pulled up to about 55 feet from the object.

    “Zamora drove up to this spot, windows rolled down, and looked to his left out of the window, TO SEE THE OBJECT. [Hmmm, seems Hynek again disagrees with you about the visibility of the object from Zamora’s car, based on your “fairly good representation” map]

    Hynek’s description of Zamora’s approach to the landing site and the visibility of the object was for all intense and purposes exactly the same as I wrote. But to you, apparently, these are just more of my “preposterous claims.”

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  52. Everybody else is wrong, including the witness and professional on site investigators, but David Rudiak is right. God bless you and your omnipotence.

    So Hynek wasn’t a “professional on site investigator?” Hynek description of Zamora’s approach, the topography, and visibility of the object tallies exactly with what I wrote here, which you badly distorted. That seems to be a habit with you.

    I know you’re probably mad and maybe embarrassed as being shown up on your own blog, but grossly misrepresent the facts and evidence, throw in a few deliberate lies, and you are going to get some blowback.

    But thanks for your heavenly blessing and bestowing me with omnipotence.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Let's get this straight, David. Flames and a roar on landing, the same on liftoff, yet silent in flight and when breaking the sound barrier. Some sort of hybrid vehicle, liquid oxygen and anti-gravity?

    Here's a highly truncated version of Mr. Zamora's account of his physical actions on his closer encounter:

    "Object was starting to go straight up--slowly up.

    Thought, from roar, it might blow up. Flame might have come from underside of object

    As soon as saw flame and heard roar, turned away, ran away from object

    Bumped leg on car--back Fender area.

    Glasses fell to ground, left them there. ran to north

    I guess I had run about 25 feet when I glanced back and saw the object level with the car and it appeared about directly over the place where it rose from.

    I was still running and I jumped just over the hill--I stopped because I did not hear the roar.

    I turned around toward the object and at same time put my head toward ground, covering my face with my arms.

    Being that there was no roar, I looked up, and I saw the object going away from me. It did not come any closer to me.

    I ran back to my car and as I ran back, I kept an eye on the object. I picked up my glasses (I left the sun glasses on ground), got into the car, and radioed to Nep Lopez

    As I was calling Nep, I could still see the object.

    Can't tell how long [I] saw object second time (the "close" time), possibly 20 seconds--just a guess"

    Possibly . . . just a guess. Mr. Zamora uses two qualifiers here, the only time in his account he does. Not his fault that people take what he actually said and twist it. No way all that took only 20 seconds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wYq0IeGiNs

    Start the video at 5:15. ;O)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Frank Stalter wrote:

    Can't tell how long [I] saw object second time (the "close" time), possibly 20 seconds--just a guess"

    Possibly . . . just a guess. Mr. Zamora uses two qualifiers here, the only time in his account he does. Not his fault that people take what he actually said and twist it. No way all that took only 20 seconds.


    Which is exactly what both I and Ray Stanford have written. We don't believe all this would have taken only 20 seconds either. So learn how to read and stop misrepresenting what people say.

    Stanford has doubled Zamora's estimate to 40 seconds, if you would bother to read his book, and allots 20 seconds for the DEPARTURE part, not the whole close encounter part, just as I did.

    The departure part is AFTER Zamora has run away, but stopped because the object stopped roaring and started to go silent. Zamora said that at that point, the object just seemed to hang there for a few seconds, then took off. He ran back to his car (roughly 100', according to the AF report, maybe less--Zamora guessed 50 feet in his statement), picked up his glasses, put them on, tried to call on his radio, all the time watching the object grow smaller in the distance "very fast". Then he watched it make a sharp turn upward over the Perlite mill 2 miles distant, climb above the mountains and rapidly fade out in the distance.

    This is exactly what I wrote in my last post, and like Stanford alloted 20 seconds for the DEPARTURE part to the mill, i.e. run back to the car, etc., etc., basically running 100 feet or so back and little else except 10+ seconds of observation once he got back to the car. I suspect even you could do it in under 20 seconds.

    Zamora when interviewed estimated 10 seconds to do the DEPARTURE part to the mill, Stanford again doubled it to 20 seconds. That is where the 20 second figure comes from in my last and other posts in estimating a speed for the initial departure portion.

    So 2 miles in 20 seconds or 6 miles a minute or 360 mph average speed, peak speed higher. Simple math based on a very reasonable if not conservative estimate of elapsed time.

    You could be superconservative and double the elapsed time once again, cutting the average speed down to 180 mph, but still way too damn fast for a "balloon", particularly one that can fly against the wind horizontally in a straight line for 2 miles.

    And again I ask you, how can any "balloon" do that? When are you going to answer the question?

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  55. Doubling the time and claiming to be conservative is a faux point. I will do the Henry Fonda experiment over the weekend and provide my results.

    The answer to your question is no balloon could do that, no balloon did do that and your claims of what happened are not what happened. You're twisting Mr. Zamora's statement to fit your claims.

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  56. To change the subject slightly:

    Are the USAF's actions at Socorro consistent with their actions at Roswell (as claimed by the ET proponents)?

    In the former we have Blue Book putting all their resources into Socorro with weeks of investigation using various consultants, external bodies and examining every facet of the case and still coming up with an unknown. Moreover they admitted such in their conclusion.

    Yet we also have the same body (i.e. the USAF) who 17 years earlier had gathered up the wreckage of an alien craft plus the bodies of their occupants and put a tight security clamp on the story, fobbing off the public with a balloon plus radar reflector explanation.

    Could the investigators of 1964 have performed their duties completely ignorant of the 'great truth' of 1947? The two incidents occurred a mere 90-100 miles apart (a trivial distance in the US) and in the same state. Strange that Blue Book did not again try and pull another 'fast one' over the public, but instead admitted it was a genuine UFO.

    Moreover, there are some ETHers (e.g. Stan Friedman) who seriously believe that there was another crash associated with Roswell, and that this crash occurred at or near Socorro! Therefore the authorities, having been alerted in 1947 to the ET crash near Socorro, should have realised that the 1964 event was a probable new ET landing, this time a soft one and not a crash. We may assume the ETs, having suffered their fate at Roswell, had perfected their landing procedures during this 17-year period.

    The AF actions and attitude in 1964 seem most strange when compared with those of 1947.

    Or have I missed something?

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  57. Although I still think your evidence is practically non-existent for showing that a hoax was responsible for the event (weird for a "skepti-bunker" like me, huh), I did want to be sure to mention that Rudiak is the worst sort of prevaricator on the topic of UFO's--every word he types should be suspect.

    On Kevin Randle's blog, I showed clearly how Rudiak just makes up "facts" to suit his ridiculous premises. It's hard to show clear evidence of this with a slippery guy like Rudiak since he usually just twists things into his own opinion using weasel words like "probably" or "certainly" or "must have" but in this one case I showed how he took a vintage article and then ascribed details to it that do not appear in the article at all.

    He made them up.

    I suppose he must be comfortable doing that kind of thing, knowing that most UFO buffs are even less rigorous than he is when it comes to evidence. A simple reading of the article reveals what a absolute bald-faced liar Rudiak is.

    And yet I'm sure many see him as one of the best "researchers" in the field. Sadly, that is probably true.

    Lance

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  58. "Are the USAF's actions at Socorro consistent with their actions at Roswell (as claimed by the ET proponents)?"

    I'd say both responses were tailored to the situation at hand.

    "Although I still think your evidence is practically non-existent for showing that a hoax was responsible for the event"

    I think between Bragalia's yeoman effort and my own, significant circumstantial evidences has been presented to attribute motive and opportunity to the NMINT students and that the event itself was hoaxable. It is an explanation, nothing more. I happen to think it's the right one.

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  59. Frank Stalter wrote:
    I think between Bragalia's yeoman effort and my own, significant circumstantial evidences has been presented to attribute motive and opportunity to the NMINT students and that the event itself was hoaxable. It is an explanation, nothing more. I happen to think it's the right one.

    Let’s give this one last try. Frank Stalter declares this must be a hoax, but can produce zero evidence that it was a hoax. He, like Anthony Bragalia, cites Dr. Sterlings Colgate as a “witness”. But Colgate likewise has produced zero evidence of a hoax, just declared it hoax, and won’t respond further to emails.

    The AF, represented most prominently by their rabid debunker Hector Quintenella, head of Blue Book, who wanted very much to debunk this very widely reported case, totally dismissed the idea of hoax after investigation, because they too could produce zero evidence of a hoax.

    Stalter cannot explain in any PLAUSIBLE way how a hoax could be carried out, just as Colgate cannot. (Totally inane hoax scenarios don’t count.) Stalter’s blog says the object was a balloon, but I finally got him to admit it couldn’t have been a balloon. (But note he still hasn’t amended his blog, nor corrected the landing site location, even after I told him where the correct one was.)

    So what exactly was it? What can take off vertically, then rapidly fly off in total silence, horizontally in a straight line for 2 miles, then sharply turn upward, rise high in the air and disappear far in the distance? Please Frank, finally tell us what this magic craft was, made by those hoaxing N.M. Tech students.

    Stalter cannot explain how the four “landing pad” imprints were made. All who were first at the scene agreed they were freshly made and created by something of great weight. Hynek mentioned nine witnesses stating that the marks were fresh, still moist in the bottom for several hours from pressing into the subsoil. (Also mentioned by the FBI agent at the scene.) They tried to reproduce these marks on site by digging a replica, but could not. Instead, the soil had been compressed by something of great weight that had gently pushed aside and mounded up the topsoil, thus something very heavy gently coming down, not something slamming down to earth with a great force, like a hydraulic press (for which there was zero physical evidence, such as track marks). Also one pad broke a large rock at its edge, leaving trace metallic particles.

    Stalter cannot explain how the plants or soil were burned and still hot or smoldering when the first responders arrived. (Instead he simply denies this was the case, using one cherry-picked quote, despite clear, multiple, contrary statements from some of the first responders and the FBI agent at the scene). Whatever caused the burns and the brilliant blue “flame” Zamora saw coming from the object also left no chemical residue behind (when samples were tested by the AF). And contrary to what Bragalia has claimed, there was zero physical evidence of explosive devices, pyrotechnics, etc. There was also no smell of burning chemicals, such as sulfur, kerosene, gasoline, etc. So what burned everything and what happened to the alleged hoaxing equipment responsible? It too seems to have magically vanished without a trace.

    Stalter also cannot explain (just as the A.F. couldn’t) how alleged hoaxers could vanish and leave not a single trace of their presence behind: no car tracks, no footprints, no chemical residue, no evidence of equipment to produce the burns, the landing marks, the loud roaring noise, etc., etc. That was after immediate and extensive area searching by the first responders and subsequent investigators for such evidence.

    (cont. next post)

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  60. (part 2)

    Instead we are treated to the latest round of nonsense from Stalter, namely pole-vaulting students to “explain” the lack of footprints. Uhhh, Frank, what happened to the inevitable multiple pole marks, or the footprints of where the vaulters came down, not to mention wouldn’t this greatly slow down their escape, make them more, not less visible, make it rather difficult to carry hoaxing equipment away, etc., etc.?

    What next? Students on pogo sticks? Students with jet packs? Students lifting away in lawn chairs held up with weather balloons?

    I hearby elevate Frank Stalter, and other current hoax supporters like Rich Reynolds, to the Royal Order of Pelicanists. For those unfamiliar with the term, it comes from a UK debunker named James Easton, who 10 years ago stubbornly pushing the idea, contrary to all evidence, that pelicans were responsible for the classic Kenneth Arnold sighting of 1947. Jerome Clark defines pelicanist as "...the practice of ascribing any explanation, however scientifically unsustainable, illogical, or fantastic, to a UFO event or experience, in a desperate effort to deny that anything seriously anomalous may be going on."

    In a nutshell, a pelicanist is anyone pushing spectacularly stupid “explanations” for UFO cases, never properly responding to points showing how spectacularly stupid the explanation is, never backing down, etc., etc.

    Congratulations Frank! I knew you had it in you.

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  61. I must admit that when it comes to nonsense and stupidity and stubbornly refusing to admit when he is wrong , Rudiak is the authority.

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  62. "Stalter’s blog says the object was a balloon, but I finally got him to admit it couldn’t have been a balloon. (But note he still hasn’t amended his blog, nor corrected the landing site location, even after I told him where the correct one was.)"

    Where did this happen? I still think it was a balloon. The newspaper story contains a Google map that shows a different location for the vehicle. Download Google Earth and do your own map. Mark where Zamora was when he first saw the vehicle and then when he got closer. I'd like to see it. The fundamental fact remains that Zamora saw people for a few seconds and then never saw them again. By all credible accounts, his view was obstructed by a hill as he approached the vehicle.

    "Stalter cannot explain how the four “landing pad” imprints were made. All who were first at the scene agreed they were freshly made and created by something of great weight."

    The report is that there was no dew which would only indicate they were made that day. The event took place in the late afternoon. The pranksters had as much of the day as they wanted to prepare the site. The evidence points to them doing just that.

    "Stalter cannot explain how the plants or soil were burned and still hot or smoldering when the first responders arrived. (Instead he simply denies this was the case, using one cherry-picked quote, despite clear, multiple, contrary statements from some of the first responders and the FBI agent at the scene)"

    Chavez WAS a first responder. Go ahead and provide those contrary statements. Links please.

    "Stalter also cannot explain (just as the A.F. couldn’t) how alleged hoaxers could vanish and leave not a single trace of their presence behind: no car tracks, no footprints, no chemical residue, no evidence of equipment to produce the burns, the landing marks, the loud roaring noise, etc., etc. That was after immediate and extensive area searching by the first responders and subsequent investigators for such evidence."

    I think I did provide an explanation for the lack of footprints. The other points have been addressed. I note that your supersonic speed claims have been beaten down with common sense and you have relinquished them.

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  63. One point to note. The pelicans explanation for the Arnold sighting certainly came from James Easton. The term "pelicanist" (or its variant "pelicanism") originated from Jerome Clark shortly after Easton's original article. As to the Royal Order of Pelicanists, I am afraid David Rudiak is not in a position to 'elevate' anyone to this. He can propose elevating someone if he wishes, but the only person who can do the actual elevating is HM Queen Elizabeth II. We anxiously await her decision.

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  64. Steve Sawyer (formerly "anonymous" hereNovember 13, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    In view of the nature of the contentious debate that has unfolded here, I'd like to make some effort to suggest we all return to attempting a more civil discourse in discussing the issues.

    I also think we should consider how humorous this kind of give-and-take argumentation must seem to less interested readers, and in the spirit of trying to inject some degree of levity and moderation of the tone, on both sides, I would like to offer this classic bit of directly related Monty Python humor, "The Argument Clinic": http://bit.ly/4ffGeU

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  65. I agree with that, Steve. Look at the other articles on my site (the ones nobody comments on). It should be pretty evident that I think there's something to the alien visitation possibility. I just happen to also think sophisticated college prank is the best explanation for Socorro.

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  66. Just suppose....someone who was a participant in this hoax came forward and explained how illuminating gas, and a condom or two could be used..and wind currents around a hill can cause a baloon to appear to be going upwind? Would anyone believe him? Naw..too funny and the jokes on you!

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  67. "Whoever the manufacturer of the balloon was would have been selling them world wide, so no English would be used, but the insignia would communicate which end was up pretty easily in any language . . . . and also provide another bit of evidence that the vehicle was manufactured here on Earth."

    Let's assume that to be true.

    Why then has not a single example of these balloons since come to light?

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    Replies
    1. The simple answer is nobody looked. Another answer might be the pranksters may have applied it themselves so they could position the balloon properly.

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  68. David you are right on. Frank obviously never read Ray's excellent book "Socorro Saucer in a Pentagon Pantry" nor checked the updates on this event. A hoax is simply the dumbest conclusion anyone could fabricate. There were about 10 other witness's. No pyrotechnics found at the site. An Air Force estimate of 10 tons distributed to the 4 landing pads. And of course the hoax killer is the fact that Ray has found, in 2 pictures taken by him and Dr. Hynek, 2 of the egg shaped craft, one with the 4 struts displayed, in the background of a picture featured on page 53 of his book. Whoever this Frank guy his he did not do any real research here. Blue Book never found a hoax, classified it an one of the few Project Blue Book 'unknowns', and much to Hector chagrin. could never explain this in conventional terms. ANYONE who talks about this case and has not read Ray Stanford's book is delusional and missing many well investigated facts. No need to reply Frank, instead do some real homework and listen to Ray's excellent interview on Coast to Coast this past Sunday.

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  69. You consider using Ray Stanford as a source research? Hahahahahahaha!

    Name these 10 other witnesses. Did they get as close as Zamora who wrote in his official report, "It looks like a balloon."

    Care to explain that? It's always interesting when the key witness backs up my explanation.

    If you read my article and the documents linked to, the USAF and Hynek strongly considered hoax as an explanation but they couldn't prove it to their satisfaction. ;)

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  70. A hoax? Yes. A balloon? No, I doubt it. something more elaborate. What if Colgate wouldn't elaborate further on what he knows because he assisted in the hoax? Pure speculation, but Stirling Colgate certainly had the connections and expertise to pull off a pretty high tech hoax if sufficiently motivated.
    Whatever device was used in this stunt left Zamora deeply impressed and shaken. Was some piece of exotic hardware borrowed from White Sands to pull this off?
    Hey, I'm just speculating, but it's a possibility worth considering.

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  71. Frank Salter says:
    I'm quite convinced it's nothing more than a "This End Up" indicator that would help people get an uninflated balloon situated properly on the ground before it was inflated.

    Whoever the manufacturer of the balloon was would have been selling them world wide, so no English would be used, but the insignia would communicate which end was up pretty easily in any language . . . . and also provide another bit of evidence that the vehicle was manufactured here on Earth.

    So the red marking on the vehicle isn't a symbol. It isn't an insignia. It isn't a corporate logo. It's an instruction.

    ...presenting speculation as fact Frank? Not very objective.
    I'll be convinced when you actually find one of these "sold worldwide" balloons and show us.

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